Classroom Day!
“The highest result of education is tolerance”
― Helen Keller

This week at TKG:

Last Park Day inspired reflection and growth: Michelle thought it was a prime opportunity to review and reflect on our Bill of Rights.  Her method was to use studio to focus the discussion.  Students were invited to recreate the park and talk about our experience (check out our flickr feed for some incredible park art)…some sprouts responded.  In an effort to reach each student, Michelle spent one on one time with them throughout the rest of the week specifically to focus on Park Day protocols. On Tuesday, students thought about these questions:

Why do we have our Bill of Rights?
To show people what we do here.
We remember that our school is kind.

When do we practice them?
In the morning. (sometimes we read them at meeting)
Everyday, all the time.
Even on park day and at home?

What is hard about them?
Always have to listen to them.
You could loose a friend if you don’t follow them.

What else happens if you don’t follow them?
You get support.

What do you like about our Bill of Rights?
Keeps people safe.
Other people know what we do in this class.
So people don’t get hurt feelings.
So you don’t get mean friends if you respect the Bill of Rights.
They are helpful.
Means a lot of things.

Later in the week Michelle asked students reflect on which amendment was most helpful to them that day.  Some said kind loving names, while the majority said checking in.

Throughout the week, studio has been a place for recreating the park.  In doing so students thought about details, location, space, scale, and purpose.  It also opened the door for conversations related to repairing and reconnecting after Monday’s visit.  At the closing meeting on Friday we focused on Park Day and our rights.  We talked about our challenges and what others could do to help.  On Monday Michelle will be asking students to walk our check in boundary and role play what to do when you want to go beyond.

More highlights and experiences from this week:

Math came naturally in studio.  Many expressed the concept of = in the sense of 4+2=6 and 3+3=6 so Michelle posed this 4+2=3+3 and students tested using a balance.  “I love math!  If you want some help counting you can come to me!  Counting is my thing to do!” -Madison (Growth mindset in action)

Yoga and Meditation with Brandy was a hit.  We took a bumpy camel ride through the desert and turned into cobra snakes to warm up then went through a mountain story scenario for the main exercise. We connected our feet at the end and became one sunflower together opening and closing our petals. We went through a full body relaxation and shivasana.

Maddy- this is fun! Can we do it everyday? AND ohhh! Yoga is hard! I’m tired!

Otis- oh this is so fun and easy! I love it!

Sidney- closing her eyes with a big smile I want to do this all the time! I love to meditate.

Aiel- this was fun and challenging

We look forward to more sessions with Brandy!

In writing students learned about: Helen Keller, Braille, senses, autobiographies…

We also explored our autobiography: Knowing that students had been experimenting and learning about their five senses, Yvette read a short biography about Helen Keller with some sprouts. We learned that Helen Keller was an author. Students wondered, how can she write and not be able to see? We thought about what tool we could use or create to help them write if they were blind. We tried writing our names, blindfolded. The students then discussed what life would be like without having the sense of sight and sound like Helen Keller. We experimented by using a blindfold and large headphones in order to mimic what Helen Keller experienced. They tried walking down the hallways with a guide and also by themselves. While reflecting on the experimenting some Sprouts shared the following:

“If I could never see again that would make me explode, I would want to blow up and then go to heaven so I could see again.” Otis

“It would be dangerous if you can’t see or hear. You could get hit by a car and you might just go straight and not across and well also you won’t be able to pick your clothes. And  you know you might cut your head off if your using a knife to cut fruit.” Alex

“Even though I couldn’t see, I could tell we were outside because the ground felt cold, and I could feel the wind.” Aiel

“I think that people should have someone to guide them if they cant see or help them if they cant hear because it could be dangerous.” Madison

“It was dark and kind of scary, because you don’t know where you are going.” Bennett

During story workshop, John, Alex and James continued their story of Super Villain Ville – Part 1. With their words typed out and printed they were able read and edit their story.  Once their story had been edited, they began discussing what types of illustrations they wanted for each written page. These sprouts collaborated with one another to make sure that the book was coherent and complete. They then shared their book during reflection meeting. It is currently in the library area, we invite you to read it! We have also began part 2 of Super Villain Ville, and will continue the editing and publishing process next week.

Bridges made their way outside and we were challenged with making functional bridges.  Functioning for what?

FIMO clay was explored at deep learning after students wanted to make frogs for their habitat.  If you happen to be at a craft store we could use more colors. (Buy it on Amazon for cash back!)

Knowing that a meeting to discuss TKG Outdoor Space is coming, Michelle asked students what they want:

“Sand, water,  monkey bars-maybe two for monkey bar races, a fort, a swimming pool, a drawing table with clip boards and a jar of markers glued to the table so the wind doesn’t blow it over, a slide, more benches, cup holders on the bench, more plastic puppets, towels, bigger bins for turtles, art easels, move the house to a different spot, take the bark out and put sand, each family could donate a package of sand or two or as many as they want, less grass, no the grass is good…”

Things to collect for the classroom: FIMO Clay, clear containers…

Park Day, Michelle will be asking students to walk our El Retiro boundaries and role play what to do when you want to go beyond.

Answers to last weeks riddles: 1. An Eye 2. A Missile 3. A fork. We invite you to create your own riddles at home and bring them to share with the class!

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:

CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman

Check Out Flickr!Flickr Feed is at:

Upload your videos to TKG’s YouTube Channel.  DOWNLOAD the app for iPhone or Android and start uploading.

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Classroom Items – Needed: Pacon Paper (more info), Blue painters Tape, Clear containers (recyclable)…

Park Day – See you at EL RETIRO! Please support your sprout with conversations about: boundaries, community, and check-ins.  Thank you!

ECHO Parenting Series – Our next meeting is this Tuesday, TKG 7pm.  Childcare has not been arranged.

The 5 Guiding Principals at TKG
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will expand their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN FUNCTION & DEVELOPMENT, students are sensory learners, we will honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, supporting the development of creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems
  • CO-OPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teaching Focus – TKG Bill of Rights: As you know, the TKG Bill of Rights is written by the students.  If a student has a concern, he/she has the opportunity to bring it up in meeting and make a case for why it should be implemented.  Every item on the Bill of Rights must be unanimously approved by a vote.  Recently, students had the opportunity to reflect and re-establish their own relationship to the BoR.  Kind and Loving Names is one of the amendments to the Bill of Rights.  As teachers, we can engage our students about this, or any other amendment, to support the community.  We can talk about how difficult it can be, sometimes.  We can dialogue about anything. We found this book to open the door to discussion:  WATCH CHRYSANTHEMUM

Teacher Focus – Freedom! There is nothing like watching a thousand butterflies find their way back home…get inspired to stay free and light: LEARN MORE…

For your Toolbox – How Nature Can Reduce Violence In Our World “In our studies, people with less access to nature show relatively poor attention or cognitive function, poor management of major life issues, poor impulse control,” says Frances Kuo, a professor at the University of Illinois, adding that humans living in a neighborhood stripped of nature undergo patterns of social, psychological, and physical breakdown similar to those observed in animals deprived of their natural habitat. “In animals, what you see is increased aggression, disrupted parenting patterns, and disrupted social hierarchies.”

1. Green exercise improves psychological health.
2. In some cases, greening neighborhoods may help reduce domestic violence
3. Natural playgrounds may decrease bullying
4. Other species help children develop empathy.
5. Greater biodiversity in cities can increase social and family bonding.
6. More nature in our lives can offset the dangerous psychological impact of climate change.

Monday – JS
Tuesday – FIELD TRIP
Wednesday – RD
Thursday – LS & EL/TV
Friday –  ME
Special Projects – 
NL (Retreat Supplies, list from Trish by Thursday)
TS (classroom supplies, list from Trish)
Please contact Nicole and Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule. * means we are checking on a sub availability

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:


Phonics and Word Recognition

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., DOWN, OUT, UP, IN)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3b Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).


Production and Distribution of Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.5 With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).


Measurement and Data

CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.5 Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., bridges! ) and drawing shapes.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.A.2 Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps.

2013 Annual Hand In Hand Parenting by Connection Retreat 
July 26-28, 2013
Ben Lomond Quaker Center, Santa Cruz Mountains

From the TKG Office:

  • Philosophy Committee is scheduled for Sunday, May 5th.  We will have an early start to maximize energy!  More details to follow…
  • New Fundraising Partner: Michelle’s partner, Cory (yay Cory!) has joined our family of fundraiser partners.  His company The Bed Shop,, will donate 15% of a purchase back to TKG.  Contact Lori for additional details.
  • Amazon Picks of the Week – Don’t forget to get to these links through the TKG Amazon Banner:BOOK//SUPPLIES//GEAR
  • Support The Community MBNS will hold a Silent Auction next Saturday, May 4th from 5p-8p at the home of Steve and Erin Levin (Hayden’s Parents).  Please see John or Lori (Anna’s Parents) for tickets $15/each in advance or $25 at the door.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
 ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Resource Of The Week

Einstein May Never Have Used
Flashcards, but He Probably
Built Forts

By Lory Hough/Harvard School of Education

“Play is not an option for kids; play is how children learn to build community, how they learn to work with other people; it’s how they learn to kind of engage their sense of

In some ways, this headline is almost funny,  the idea of a young Einstein, wild
hair flying, throwing his mother’s quilt
over a couple of chairs and crawling
underneath. But to Elizabeth
Goodenough,M.A.T.’71, a headline
like this is not a joke. We’re a busy-bydesign society that’s become so concerned with turning kids into baby Einsteins that something critical to childhood, something that Goodenough holds sacred, is fast becoming extinct: free play...READ MORE!


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